Light Graystone Pearl
213k. 3rd owner, 2nd in the family. I did most of my learning to drive in this truck, so she'll always have a special place in my heart.
Despite drowning in all of my other ongoing projects, I thought it was time to give my old girl a much deserved makeover.
Here's where things started out. She's clean and well cared for. 213,000 gentle miles, except for being smacked into by the odd roving moron a time or two. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of. But she has dreams of badassdom.
Wheels were fairly affordable from Discount Tire
First I amassed all the parts I'd be installing. I didn't want to occupy the entire garage for too long of a time.
Taillights were installed first, before pulling into the OR.
There's actually a decent amount of space in my garage when it's clean... 🙄
Up on four jack stands
Dismantling the front end
A mix of clips in blind holes and nylon rivets holding the flares on. Saved more than half of the clips! 😁
Fronts came apart without too much drama. Cleaning up the surface with an aggressive wire brush session
Masking off the calipers and surrounding areas
The rest of the parts also prepped for paint
This brake caliper paint from VHT is good stuff, but it takes a while to do it right. Meticulous surface preparation, several coats of color, wait a week to cure, then several coats of clear, then another week. After putting it all back together, once the paint heats up from braking, the curing process is complete and the final result is durable and chemical resistant. I enjoyed good results with this stuff when I did the brakes on my daily driver last year.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. No amount of leverage, PB Blaster, or "percussive maintenance" would get the rear rotors to budge from the hubs (and no, the parking brake was not on).
Flares were painted with Rustoleum bedliner in a can, using some tips I found from this TJ forum. Clean, Sand, Prime, and Paint.
Modifying the factory grille for the insert.
Bolts up to grille subframe nicely. The grill insert is from Impulse Fabrication, and it received the same bedliner paint as the fender flares
Cleaning up some surface rust while it's all apart
Pro tip: check if they sent you the right rotors when they show up in the mail rather than waiting until you're ready to install them 🙃
I had checked the rear rotors right away when they got here... a certain online auto parts warehouse had sent the wrong rear rotors when we replaced them on my friend's WK. The rears they sent were right, and I never imagined they could get the fronts mixed up...
Anyway, I can at least assemble the rest of the front end.
Front braces got a red accent while I was doing the brake paint.
Brakes went together nice and easy once the right parts arrived.
And here they are behind those new wheels
About 3 weeks start to finish. Happy and very excited about the results!
3.7L Quadra-Trac I
Bolt-on bull bar and custom grille insert
XTune Black Headlights, XTune Smoke Taillights
Wheel and Tire
Cooper Evolution HT on Voxx Nova 17"